S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Friday, March 21, 2008

Holy Saturday Reflections: In Hope We Are Saved

Today, Holy Saturday, we commemorate the moment when Our Lady and the Lord's disciples laid Jesus in the tomb. Everything was over: Jesus is dead; God made man lies lifeless in the bowels of the earth. Perhaps what was running in the minds of the disciples was the question "What is there to hope for? The Lord has expired!

Dear friends, I think what we celebrate on Holy Saturday is precisely this: Holy Hope. In the words of our Holy Father Benedict XVI in his latest encyclical Spe Salvi, he says that:

We must return once more to the New Testament. In the eleventh chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews (v. 1) we find a kind of definition of faith which closely links this virtue with hope... “Faith is the hypostasis of things hoped for; the proof of things not seen”. For the Fathers and for the theologians of the Middle Ages, it was clear that the Greek word hypostasis was to be rendered in Latin with the term substantia... faith is the “substance” of things hoped for; the proof of things not seen. Saint Thomas Aquinas, using the terminology of the philosophical tradition to which he belonged, explains it as follows: faith is a habitus, that is, a stable disposition of the spirit, through which eternal life takes root in us and reason is led to consent to what it does not see...Faith is not merely a personal reaching out towards things to come that are still totally absent: it gives us something. It gives us even now something of the reality we are waiting for, and this present reality constitutes for us a “proof” of the things that are still unseen. Faith draws the future into the present, so that it is no longer simply a “not yet”. [Spe Salvi, 7]...
Faith gives life a new basis, a new foundation on which we can stand... [Spe Salvi, 8].

Dear friends, our hope is based on Faith. To hope in faith is to leap, a leap that goes beyond the boundaries of reason, a leap that is directed towards the Transcendent. As we "stay in vigil and prayer before the Lord's tomb," let us be reminded of what the Lord Jesus promised... "The Son of Man will rise on the third day." Our hope, our faith is rooted in His Word. Amen.


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